Windows Essentials: It’s Dead, Jim

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows with 50 Comments

Windows Essentials: It's Dead, Jim

A month ago, I warned that support for Windows Essentials 2012 was ending. Today, it’s gone. You can no longer download this still-useful suite of utilities.

That answers a big question I had in December: Sure, support was ending, but “will the download disappear once January 10 has come and gone?” I wrote. “I suppose it will.”

Well, the download is gone. So. Yeah.

“Windows Essentials 2012 is no longer available for download,” a support document on the Microsoft website now notes. “Already installed applications will continue to work as they do today. There is an increased security risk associated with use of unsupported products past their end of support date.”

This is bad news on a number of levels, the most obvious being that Microsoft doesn’t have an acceptable replacement for Windows Movie Maker, which was a simple but easy-to-use video editor.

As for the other apps in the suite, most are well past their prime. OneDrive is now included in Windows, of course, and Windows Live Writer is now available in open source (and supported) form, for the few people who need or want to actually install an app to write blog posts. Windows Live Messenger was long ago replaced by Skype, which I think most will agree has not exactly gone well. Hope springs eternal.

Aside from Windows Movie Maker, the biggest loss here, however, is Windows Photo Gallery, which includes an incredible array of functionality that the Photos app in Windows 10 will never duplicate.

Despite this, Microsoft actually recommends the built-in apps in Windows as replacements. That would be hilarious if this wasn’t so bad.

UPDATE: If you move quickly, you may be able to install Windows Essentials 2012 over the web or using this offline installer. I suspect these links will be removed now that I’ve published them, however. Good luck. –Paul

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